After shellacking the Mariners 15-1 on Friday night, the Red Sox came back out Saturday afternoon and trampled their way to a 22-10 win. Outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 5-for-6 with three doubles, two home runs, five runs scored, and seven RBI. He’s the first player in Red Sox history with five extra-base hits in a game, per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Bradley is the first player with five extra-base hits in a game since Josh Hamilton in 2012. Kelly Shoppach and Shawn Green are the only other players to have accomplished the feat in this millennium.
Seven Red Sox hitters knocked in multiple runs. Six Red Sox hitters had at least three hits. And who started for the Mariners? 2014 AL Cy Young Award runner-up Felix Hernandez. He lasted only 2 1/3 innings, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits (including three home runs) and a walk with two strikeouts. It’s the fourth time this season he has allowed seven-plus runs and he now carries a 3.65 ERA.
Friday and Saturday’s showings add up to 37 runs. It’s particularly poignant since manager John Farrell announced prior to Friday’s game that he has stage 1 lymphoma.
In lighter news, Saturday’s win breaks the “Good Will Hunting Curse”. The Red Sox had been 0-14 on the birthday of Ben Affleck, who wrote and acted in the film set in Boston, since it was released in 1997.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.